Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Poetic detour

Raj's post about Vikram Seth's novel (A Suitable Boy) made me escape, to see my favorite Vikram Seth poems. Some of his poetry astonishes me every time I read it. Although it reads simple, it always unearths a complex, difficult-to-put-your-finger-on feeling.

Thanks to Poem Hunter, we can all read some of Seth's poems. 
But I cannot suppress the urge to copy-paste some of my all time favorites here.

1. Unclaimed
To make love with a stranger is the best.
There is no riddle and there is no test. --

To lie and love, not aching to make sense
Of this night in the mesh of reference.

To touch, unclaimed by fear of imminent day,
And understand, as only strangers may.

To feel the beat of foreign heart to heart
Preferring neither to prolong nor part.

To rest within the unknown arms and know
That this is all there is; that this is so.

Vikram Seth

2. Prandial Plaint

My love, I love your breasts, I love your nose.
I love your accent and I love your toes.
I am your slave. One word, and I obey.
But please don't slurp your morning brew that way.

Vikram Seth

3. Timezones

I willed my love to dream of me last night, that we might lie
at peace, if not beneath a single sheet, under one sky.
I dreamed of her but she could not alas humour my will;
it struck me suddenly that where she was was daylight still.

Vikram Seth

I am also amazed by the emotion that could have inspired  Round and Round.
It reads like Vikram Seth is trying to collect water droplets off a leaf. What touches me above all the simplicity in his poetry is the acceptance of  loneliness, with no long term solution or alternative. And he does not express it as a lament or a pain but simply as an everyday reality, sometimes even with a bit of humor.
Perhaps one of his better known (and widely read) verses is All You Who Sleep Tonight.

So a big hug to Raj for putting Seth back into my head. I just ordered  A Suitable Boy. :)

1 comment:

Raj said...

It's hard to chose amongst his poems, each one has a different quality. I also like 'Ghalib two years after the mutiny' a lot.
Good luck with AST. :)